Sunday, February 15, 2015

who i was that instant.

i don't know why i took this picture. or what makes me compelled to show it to you now. this was november 1, 2012, i believe. namely by the shirt. by the no make up. the way my hair looks. and when i look at the image order, it can't be any later than the 2nd. i wish i could see what time i took this. in the light of the ICU communal bathroom, it could be any time of day or night. no one up on C11 feels the need to care about time, though, really. it all just blends together in waves of tears or smiles.


reese has carried around our old iPhone3 for a while, but we haven't been able to charge it up since that was the reason i got a new phone the day after christmas 2012. but today, it charged. i had not really even thought about what was on it. sawyer said something about "which baby is this...?" when looking and i realized that there were images i never shared, don't remember. videos that instagram didn't have the capability of sending out to thousands of people, back then. videos that only i saw. or that EJ had sent me and i saved to my phone.

i don't really remember reese the way she looked in most of these photos. i don't really remember myself this way. part of those first 48 hours are etched into my brain vividly, but the other parts just weave through my memory like a cloud  sometimes heavy, sometimes light. i looked at the photos from september... october... reese younger than miller is now. so different. she had no words, really. a few, but nothing that stood out. maybe a phrase or two. she didn't look completely healthy, but not sick. sort of distant, i guess, in some photos. i saw photos in november of her head swelling up top, the a dozen neurosurgeons surrounding her bed, her own private entourage. i saw photos of being at home with her sisters in december 2012 - photos too blurry to post on IG, but still too amazing to delete. videos of sisters saying "hi" to reese and of stacking blocks on the floor.

more than two years later, it seems as if we are such different people, but we're not, really. each sister the same personality as they were. each relationship entwined together by a common string.

some days, i still feel like that girl in the photo above. i feel like I'm drowning in worry. like tears could wipe away my makeup of the day. so empty.

but that is not often. i am more often completely filled. yet there are times when bits and pieces of myself are torn away, some days, when i read about others' chemo not working, about sweet babies passing away after following for months or years.  in that instant, my heart could be ripped from my chest from sadness, from worry and fear.

reese's first vinblastine MRI is in about 2 weeks. march 3. which means for the next two weeks, ill think her shoe catching on the carpet means she can't walk well anymore. i'll think her dropping something means her bad arm isn't working. i'll be continually researching what the next thing may be - all the while, hoping that the next thing is just staying with what we are doing. and praying that it works. i want to hear the words "well, good news!" the second that the oncologist walks through the door into the treatment room - or when i pick up my cell later that day. whichever the case may be.

that photo was me for that second. i wanted to remember what grief looks like. what a mother who was only recently told "she has a brain tumor" looks like. but its amazing how it is not me 2 years later. different pieces make up the puzzle. different strings weave the days together.

this is me and reese now. i can't look at my life, daily, and not smile. i've always felt blessed. felt as if God has given me the world with my family, but that feeling compounds everyday. i pray my days are always filled with photos like this one.



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